Google deals Huawei major blow by cutting Android licence

Google has dealt a major blow to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei by blocking the firm from using critical apps and services like Gmail and YouTube on its range of smartphones, according to reports.

Just like other major smartphone makers including Samsung and LG, Huawei relies on the Google-developed Android operating system to power its mobile devices.

But, amid a US crackdown on Chinese technology companies due to ongoing security concerns, Reuters and The Verge report that Google has suspended business with Huawei and in doing so hugely undermined its lineup of handsets, which are among the most critically-acclaimed and best-selling on the market.

Image: Huawei has become one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers

Huawei: The company and the security risks explained

Huawei: The company and the security risks explained

The assessment of the Chinese state as hostile towards Western nations is key in understanding why Huawei is considered a risk

Existing products will no longer receive Android updates, which bring new features and security improvements, and future releases will lose access to the vital Google Play Store, through which users download new apps.

Huawei will instead be restricted to using a public version of the operating system called Android Open Source Project, which does not include standard Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos and YouTube.

Google headquarters office at Mountain View in California

Image: Google says there are 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide

Although Huawei smartphones are banned from the US, enormous sales figures in China and impressive growth in parts of Europe has seen the company overtake iPhone maker Apple in terms of market share.

The Verge reported earlier this month that Huawei was now only behind Samsung when it comes to global smartphone sales, with 59.1 million shipments in the first quarter of 2019.

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Google is developing its services as more people use them on mobile

Image: Future Huawei phones will no longer have access to YouTube

But the intervention from Google could cripple hopes of further expansion.

While a custom Huawei-built operating system would cause little issue in its home market, where most Google apps are banned anyway, it would likely be rejected by Western customers.

Google apps and services are a critical part of Android devices, and Huawei owners in Europe and the UK may now be forced to seek alternatives to what the Chinese company has to offer.

US diplomat’s fears over UK using Huawei

Huawei finds itself in the crossfire of US-China trade war

Huawei finds itself in the crossfire of US-China trade war

Huawei’s future now does not depend on business or economic decisions, but geopolitical ones, writes Sky’s Tom Cheshire

Huawei has not commented on the reports, but has continued to insist that its products pose no security threat.

Last week, its UK executive vice president Jeremy Thompson told Sky News it is willing to go the “extra mile” to reassure countries its technology is safe.

His comments came after Prime Minister Theresa May came in for criticism over a National Security Council decision to back the use of Huawei technology in “non-core” 5G network infrastructure in the UK.

That was despite a warning from the National Cyber Security Centre and the US government that the company could not be trusted.

Donald Trump

Image: Donald Trump has targeted the telecommunications giant in a round of sanctions

Donald Trump has declared a “national emergency” over the perceived threat posed by Chinese companies and imposed severe sanctions on Huawei, with US companies barred from using telecommunications equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk.

The US commerce department has also added Huawei and 70 affiliated companies to a blacklist banning it from acquiring components and technology from US firms without government approval.

Google has not responded directly to the reports, but said it was “complying with the order” issued by the US president and was “reviewing the implications”.

House explosion kills one person and injures two others

One person has died and two more have been injured after a house exploded in Indiana.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion in Jeffersonville.

Image: Several homes nearby are uninhabitable

Lieutenant Isaac Parker from Jeffersonville Police said the explosion happened just before 5am Sunday.

Five to six homes nearby have been left uninhabitable after the blast.

One person was killed in the explosion

Image: One person was killed in the explosion

Lt Parker said two people had serious injuries and were in hospital.

It’s not clear if any of the victims were in the house when it exploded.

Damaged vehicles next to the debris of the home explosion

Image: Damaged vehicles next to the debris of the home explosion

Fire chief Eric Hedrick said the home was mostly destroyed.

Adam Keeney, who lives nearby, told WHAS-TV that he felt a “big boom” in his chest after the explosion and that it knocked the gutters off his house.

Assange's belongings 'to be handed to US' – WikiLeaks

Julian Assange’s belongings from his time living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London will be handed over to US prosecutors, WikiLeaks has claimed.

Ecuadorian officials are said to be travelling to London to allow US prosecutors to “help themselves” to the items, which include legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment.

WikiLeaks said officials from the UN and Assange’s lawyers are not allowed to be present and called it a “puppet show”.

Lawyers said it was an illegal seizure of property and had been requested by US authorities.

Image: Julian Assange could be extradited to the US or Sweden

Two of Assange’s manuscripts are said to be among the items.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor in chief of WikiLeaks, said: “On Monday Ecuador will perform a puppet show at the embassy of Ecuador in London for their masters in Washington, just in time to expand their extradition case before the UK deadline on 14 June.

“The Trump administration is inducing its allies to behave like it’s the Wild West.”

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Baltasar Garzon, international legal co-ordinator for the defence of Assange and WikiLeaks, said: “It is extremely worrying that Ecuador has proceeded with the search and seizure of property, documents, information and other material belonging to the defence of Julian Assange, which Ecuador arbitrarily confiscated, so that these can be handed over to the the agent of political persecution against him, the United States.

“It is an unprecedented attack on the rights of the defence, freedom of expression and access to information exposing massive human rights abuses and corruption. We call on international protection institutions to intervene to put a stop to this persecution.”

Earlier this week, Ecuador said it was waiting for the results of an investigation into his belongings, and claimed he repeatedly violated his asylum conditions by attempting to use the embassy for spying.

Why the UK is likely to favour Sweden's request for Julian Assange over US

Why the UK is likely to favour Sweden’s request for Julian Assange over US

Ecuador’s foreign minister Jose Valencia said: “For us it is clear that there’s no basis to the accusations that the Ecuadorean embassy in London spied on Assange. It’s ridiculous.

“There is a documentary that I want everyone to see by Laura Poitras, a Guardian journalist and a friend of Assange. The documentary is called ‘Risk’ and it’s on Netflix.

“In the 58th minute you see Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London and his laptop is connected to the internet via cable in our embassy. You see clearly that he is seated there and you can see the screen.

“What’s on the screen? The security cameras of the embassy, the very cameras he says were spying on him. He appears to have been manipulating them from his laptop.”

Assange is in prison serving a 50-week sentence for bail violation. He was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy after the nation decided to stop giving him asylum in London after seven years.

He faces extradition requests from the US already and Sweden is likely to make one after its prosecutor decided to reopen an investigation into sexual assault allegations made against him.

Columbine shooting survivor found dead aged 37

A survivor of the Columbine High School shooting has been found dead at his home in Colorado 20 years after the attack.

Austin Eubanks was shot in the hand and knee during the 1999 Columbine attack which killed 12 pupils and a teacher, including his best friend.

Mr Eubanks became addicted to drugs after taking prescription medication for the pain from his injuries.

He later worked at an addiction treatment centre and travelled across the US telling his story.

Image: 1999: Police outside Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, following the shooting

His death was confirmed by Routt County coroner Robert Ryg. There were no signs of foul play.

Mr Eubanks was 37.

A post-mortem will take place to establish the cause of his death.

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In a statement, his family said he “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face”.

The family added: “We thank the recovery community for its support. As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”

Denver-area schools were evacuated in April after a threat was made coinciding with the anniversary of the Columbine shooting

Image: Denver-area schools were evacuated in April after a threat was made coinciding with the anniversary of the Columbine shooting

In a blog in 2017, Mr Eubanks wrote about the growing problem with opioid use in the US.

He said: “As a survivor of the Columbine tragedy almost two decades ago, I’m no stranger to pain – both physical and emotional.

“And as a person in long-term recovery, and someone who has worked hands-on in an addiction recovery setting for the past six years, I can tell you that there is no such thing as addiction without underlying emotional pain and trauma.”

Crosses with the names of the victims of the 1999 attack at the Columbine Memorial

Image: Crosses with the names of the victims of the 1999 attack at the Columbine Memorial

His death comes barely a month after the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which happened on 21 April 1999.

Last year, Mr Eubanks had recounted the events of that day to CNN saying: “A teacher ran through the same doors that we just entered into the library, yelling at everybody to get under the tables, that somebody had a gun, and I remember just being in shock.”

He and his friends had been in the library discussing after school plans and hid under the desk from the two gunmen.

His best friend Corey DePooter was shot and instantly killed. Mr Eubanks said his life took a “detour” from that day.

He was prescribed medication for his physical pain but admitted becoming addicted to the release of the emotional pain they gave him.

He was in his late-20s before he found long-term recovery from the addiction.

Foreign tourists hurt in bus blast near Egypt's pyramids

At least 16 people have been injured in a blast targeting a tourist bus in Egypt.

The roadside bomb attack happened near the new Egyptian museum close to the Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo.

Most of those hurt were foreign tourists, it has been reported. No one is believed to have been killed.

A witness, Mohamed el Mandouh, said he heard a “very loud explosion” while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast.

Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road.

A spokesman for Meryland Tours, who were renting the bus off Dominant Travels, said the injuries were not serious and believes there were no Britons on board.

In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured when a roadside bomb hit their tour bus less around two miles from the pyramids.

More from World

The latest attack comes as Egypt’s vital tourism industry was showing signs of recovery after languishing for years because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak.

More follows…

Trump enters row over state-led abortion crackdown

US President Donald Trump has waded into the row over strict new abortion laws introduced by some US states arguing he is “strongly pro-life”.

Mr Trump said he was against terminations except in cases of rape, incest or a “serious health risk” to the mother.

His intervention comes in a the face of mounting controversy after Alabama passed a law banning abortion in nearly all cases.

The law, which follows similar restrictions in states including Georgia and Missouri, would block abortions in the event of rape and incest, and features an exception only in cases where the pregnant person’s health is at risk.

The law is set to come into effect in six months, and doctors who defy the law could face 99 years in prison.

Image: Pro-choice supporters protest in front of the Alabama State House

Supporters of the law say they expect it to be blocked in court but hope the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court, which now has a conservative majority.

Their ultimate aim is to secure a review of the 1973 Roe v Wade decision in the Supreme Court legalising abortion nationally.

More from Abortion

A number of other Republican-led states are also seeking to impose new curbs on abortion.

The move has seen a growing number of female politicians recounting their traumatic experiences of being raped and in some cases having an abortion.

One of those is Republican Nancy Mace of the South Carolina legislature, who in the face of colleagues pushing for an outright ban on abortion once a heartbeat is detected, said: “For some of us who have been raped, it can take 25 years to get up the courage and talk about being a victim of rape.

“My mother and my best friend in high school were the only two people who knew.”

Women have also been sharing their stories of having an abortion in an online campaign #youknowme to register their opposition against strict new measures.

Trump: 'We must prohibit late-term abortion'

‘We must prohibit late-term abortion’

The crackdown puts the issue of abortion at the forefront of next year’s election campaigns, including the race for the White House.

Breaking his silence on the issue in a series of tweets, Mr Trump said: “I am very strongly pro-life, with the three exceptions – rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother – the same position taken by Ronald Reagan.”

He also said a series of judicial appointments, including conservative Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, had created “a whole new and positive attitude about the right to life”.

Mr Trump stressed the need for Republicans to stick together to “win for life in 2020”.

Women protest against Georgia's anti-abortion 'heartbeat' bill

Image: Women protest against Georgia’s anti-abortion ‘heartbeat’ bill

“If we are foolish and do not stay united as one, all of our hard fought gains for life can, and will, rapidly disappear,” he added.

Mr Trump has shifted his stance over the years on what is one of America’s most divisive social issues.

Back in 1999, Mr Trump described himself in an interview as “very pro-choice”, although he also said he “hated” abortion.

Mr Trump has said he changed his views on abortion when a couple he knew decided against a termination and he later met their child.

Final votes cast in world's biggest general election

Voters in India have gone to the polls in the final stage of the world’s biggest general election to decide whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns for a second term.

Around 900 million people have been eligible to vote in the mammoth seven-phase ballot, spread out across 39 days.

The last round of elections alone, covering 59 seats in eight states, saw more than 100 million Indians able to vote.

Image: Tight security has surrounded the last wave of voting following violent clashes

Votes are due to be counted and the result announced on Thursday, 23 May.

The staggered election is seen as a referendum on Mr Modi’s five-year rule.

Held against a backdrop of heightened tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, the poll has been used by Mr Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to focus on national security.

The main opposition Congress party and other political rivals have sought to put the spotlight on the government’s economic record and accusations of mismanagement.

More from India

Mr Modi’s move to curb black-market cash and bring a large number of people into the tax net has proved to be economically damaging, while other measures have also hit small and medium-sized businesses.

With the campaign turning increasingly nasty and clashes between factions in places, the final wave of voting saw tight security with thousands of extra police deployed and rapid response teams put on standby in case of trouble.

It is expected that Narendra Modi will be hard to beat

Image: Narendra Modi may need the support of some regional parties to stay in power

India’s parliament has a total of 545 seats, out of which the BJP won 272 at the last general election in 2014 to secure a single-party majority for the first time in around three decades.

The well-funded BJP has dominated much of the campaign, allowing Mr Modi to set the agenda.

His decision to bomb an alleged militant training camp in Pakistan, soon after a suicide attack in the disputed Kashmir region killed at least 40 policemen, bolstered his support.

Despite this, the drawn-out race has continued to tighten.

India elections

India elections

Twelve reasons why you should care

Opinion polls indicate no party is likely to win anything close to a majority in parliament with 543 seats.

The BJP may need the support of some regional parties to stay in power.

Voter turnout in the first six rounds was around 66%, the country’s election commission said, up slightly from 58% in the last national vote in 2014.

Calvin Klein apologises over Bella Hadid kissing robot advert

American fashion brand Calvin Klein has been forced to apologise after fans accused it of “queerbaiting” in its new advertising campaign.

The new advert features heterosexual model Bella Hadid kissing a fictional female digital character known as Lil Miquela.

People have accused the brand of queerbaiting – when companies use the suggestion of a homosexual relationship in order to attract gay fans, whilst trying not to alienate straight customers.

 

Image: Bella Hadid appears in the ad campaign with digital character Lil Miquela. Pic: Instagram/@lilmiquela

Criticising the ad, Madison Malone Kircher, an associate editor at New York Magazine, said on Twitter: “Who is gonna tell Calvin Klein you’re supposed to wait until June for your tone-deaf queer-bait ad campaigns!! lil miquela and bella hadid [sic] out here smooching two weeks too early!!!”

June is often referred to as pride month, when most pride events begin to take place around the world.

Another Twitter user said: “Stop using lesbianism to sell your clothing.. we’re not garnish for men.”

 

Image: The advert is part of a Calvin Klein campaign. Pic: YouTube/Calvin Klein

Apologising to fans, the company Calvin Klein said: “The concept for our latest #MYCALVINS campaign is to promote of expression for a wide range of identities, including a spectrum of gender and sexual identities.

 

“This specific campaign was created to challenge conventional norms and stereotypes in advertising.

“In this particular video, we explored the blurred lines between reality and imagination.”

The firm continued: “We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived as queerbaiting.

“As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LGBTQ+ community.

“We sincerely regret any offence we caused.”

Ms Hadid’s agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pic: Instagram/ @lilmiquela

Image: Lil Miquela is an online character. Pic: Instagram/ @lilmiquela

Lil Miquela is a fictional, digital character and is often referred to as a robot.

Her Instagram account, which claims she is from California, has amassed more than 1.5m followers since launching in 2016 and features the character modelling and singing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger attacked at event in South Africa

Bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been attacked whilst out at an event in South Africa, footage shows.

In a clip that emerged on Saturday, Schwarzenegger can be seen at the Arnold Classic Africa event in Johannesburg when someone runs up behind him and kicks him in the back.

The two-footed blow caused the Austrian to fall forward into a crowd of people and hit the ground.

Shortly after the incident, the 71-year-old re-takes his seat at the side of the court, seemingly unfazed by the attack.

Image: Schwarzenegger was attacked at an event in South Africa

Responding to the incident, he tweeted saying: “Thanks for your concerns, but there is nothing to worry about. I thought I was just jostled by the crowd, which happens a lot.

“I only realized [sic] I was kicked when I saw the video like all of you. I’m just glad the idiot didn’t interrupt my Snapchat.”

The former California governor also posted a video of himself greeting fans outside the Sandton Convention Centre, where the event is being held.

More from Arnold Schwarzenegger

A statement from the event organisers said he was “sadly and unexpectedly attacked by a crazed fan” after they had “breached security”.

It added: “Sandton Convention Centre security responded swiftly by apprehending the offender and handing him over to police.”

Wayne Price, organiser of the event said: “Arnold was in great spirits and very generous with fans and athletes alike.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was at an event in Johannesburg

Image: Arnold Schwarzenegger was at a competition in Johannesburg

“Mr Schwarzenegger is fine and still in good spirits. He still carried on with the activities as planned and is fully taking this in his stride.

“He even joked that some people got more excited than others.”

The event organisers confirmed that Schwarzenegger would not be pressing charges and sees the event as “as unfortunate incident by a mischievous fan”.

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